Posted by: deadmousediaries | September 7, 2016

Five Signs You Might Be Your Neighborhood’s Crazy Cat Lady

Let’s face it, there’s a fine line between being an animal lover and being an animal crazy. Like most descents into madness, you don’t truly realize your destination while en route despite the mile markers along the way. In my life, it doesn’t help that my daughter is building her career in a place where she is surrounded by critters all day long, many of which find their way onto her radar by default. If something has been abandoned, falls chronically but not terminally ill or seems otherwise unadoptable, chances are good it will end up in a carrier in the back of her Jeep. That explains the iguana, the parakeets, the pair of canaries, the turtle and the rabbit. By design, I’ve also had to babysit her geckos, betas, goldfish, bearded dragon and a darling little puppy that grew into 125 pounds of big, happy meathead.

   Although my own menagerie also includes two dogs, a few random fish, and on occasion, a spider in a terrarium, I’m partial to cats because I grew up under the tutelage of other women cat lovers.  Sadly, I  have apparently never read any of the warning labels on my cat food bags alerting me that I might be morphing into a crazy cat lady if I was buying more than one 16-pound bag a week. And because what goes in must come out, there is a reciprocal indicator regarding the purchase of cat litter.
   Because I believe there is a teaching moment in every situation (and because anyone can serve as a bad example), I’d like to share some things that are clear to me in retrospect. If there are others among you wondering why your grocery cart always has cute little cat faces peering back from boxes, bags and jugs, I’d like to assure you that the ride to becoming a crazy cat lady is not an express;  there are lots of stops along the way that alert you it’s time to jump off if you’re paying attention.
    Here are just five of the signs that you might be turning into your neighborhood’s crazy cat lady.
1. Your Cats‘ Names. When you have raised and fostered too many cats, you run out of traditional names like Mittens, Whiskers, Max and Tiger. If you’ve started naming your cats based on their appearance or behavior such as Short Cat, Square FaceYellow Cat or MOYA as in Mother of the Year Award,  that’s a problem. (I have a 10-year-old we now call Bart, short for Badass Rip Terror, a name he earned as a tweener.) Likewise, if you’re on your second or third time around with favorite names and are now adding the word Baby in front, as in Baby Houdini or Baby Hipboots, you’re in trouble. Ditto for adding titles after their names as in: Yellow Cat, III or Bootsie, Jr. Of course the ultimate giveaway that you’ve been riding the train too long is when you’ve assigned proper titles to your little cat friends such as The Regal Mrs. Dupont or Miss Elizabeth Sweetiepuss. 
2. Your Shopping Lists. If you visit the pet store as often as the grocery store and have ever paid $6 a can for an 11-oz can of cat milk replacement to hand-feed kittens with a dropper, you should re-evaluate your situation. At that price, a gallon of people milk would cost you $69.12. Would you spend that kind of money on your human children??? In truth, you’re probably in the danger zone if you even know cat milk replacement exists.
3. Your phone. If you don’t have your veterinarian’s number on speed dial because you have it memorized, be warned. If your photo gallery is filled with your cats‘ pix and all your Google searches are accompanied by cat litter ads, it’s time to slow down. If you spend the hours when you can’t sleep watching funny cat videos in the dark on a three-inch screen, hit the brakes hard.
4. Your environment. If your cats have more playthings than your babies had toys, you’ve gone around the bend. That also means you expect to turn an ankle or otherwise trip and fall because we all know you don’t make your cats pick up after themselves as you required of your kids. Also, if you have ever laid down a towel and a water bowl in your bathtub to safely stow a kitten overnight, you probably host more cats than house guests.
5. Your vacations. If one of the key factors in planning your vacation is determining how long you can afford to pay a pet sitter, you’re probably past all hope. Although cats require less maintenance than their canine companions, most have an innate desire to ignore you at some point in the day and they can only do that when you’re present. The implications of ticking off your cats by staying away too long will be reflected in shredded upholstery, claw marks on door frames and little surprises deposited next to the litter box and beyond.
  So there you have it, my top five signs that you’ve earned a place in your neighborhood’s history. As for the research behind this article, I can only tell you, I write what I know.


  1. Oh cats….uh, rats! I am the crazy-cat-lady – and I’m a guy. Our adult son lives with us, and knows how to feed and medicate all our cats. 🙂

    • Lol! Welcome to the club, Crazy Cat Guy! Thanks for reminding me so gently that I wrote a very sexist post!! You made me smile!

  2. I’m guilty of being a crazy cat lady and totally love almost every minute of it! 🙂

  3. Oh my gosh……….I am all but in tears laughing. I can identify with so much of this!! Every time I tell Kevin we need a yellow one, he tells me you cannot become a cat hoarder. I do love my fur kids!! Thanks for this story!!!

  4. great piece Yvonne! Thanks for brightening my day, Ami:)

  5. I have only three but think I still meet the CCL criteria. Sometimes I threaten to send them outside to play with the coyotes. But I also suffer leg cramps and insomnia trying to avoid disturbing those sleeping on me. Bless ’em.

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